Author Biography

Joel Day is a Ph.D. student in the Korbel School of International Studies, focusing on ethnic self-determination and secessionist movements. His research agenda includes the study of third-party negotiation of state partition, the creation of new states in the international system, and implications of secession on U.S. national security and global stability. Joel was previously Director of Operations for The Fair Trade Fund, where he worked on a feature film addressing the international crime of human slavery (www.callandresponse.com). Joel has worked with two California Assembly Members, a number of Congressional campaigns, the County of San Diego, and a U.S. Presidential Campaign. Joel is also a three-time national debate champion and a recipient of the National Security Education Program Scholarship. Joel holds an M.A. in International Relations from the University of San Diego, and a B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in peace studies from Point Loma Nazarene University. The author may be reached for comment at: joel.day@du.edu.



Subject Area Keywords

Al-Qaida, Asymmetric warfare, Conflict studies, Counterinsurgency, Security management


The election of President Juan Manuel Santos in Columbia marks a new era in Columbian security policy. administration has failed to implementInstead of focusing on a solely military solution to conflict with Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), as his predecessor did, Santos has committed to a multifaceted effort to resolve the dispute. In spite of this hope, the Santos many critical non-military policy proposals. Like Santos, the scholarly community has ignored important comparative studies of counterterrorism. This essay attempts to fill a gap in the literature by framing a discussion of FARC in light of new advances in counter-insurgency studies. While the field has progressed in its conceptions of insurgency in light of the rise and success of Al Qaeda, lessons learned here have not sufficiently spread to other networks. Scholarship in the last decade has revealed that negotiating with insurgent networks is best done in nimble and discrete ways, not in black and white. A comparative analysis of the historical demise of insurgent networks, combined with important lessons learned in the War on Terror will add theoretical weight to current policy proposals, as well as generate new recommendations for Colombian strategic security.